Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Little Break from Windows (literally)

Hi there! I disappeared for awhile, but now I'm back to check in.

Last time I wrote for the blog I published this post about the history of the house, and how "it felt like home, immediately. I felt like it needed me. I felt like I needed it."

All that airy-fairy spiritual gassing is well and good when poring over old photos, but the last two weeks has been where the rubber meets the road on this "need" stuff.

I've been scraping, sanding, painting, and glazing windows. It's been hot, tedious, sometimes frustrating work. Sometimes so much so that I haven't taken the time to take photos, or even very good ones:

It's the first window pane where the glazing looked like I might halfway know what I am doing (I ended up redoing that wavy/rough little bit on the vertical muntin). But it's the only photo documentation I have.

Bad blogger.

But just when I felt that I might be getting the hang of this job and making some progress, something else happened. I came home from work one day, and while still standing in the front foyer, heard a peculiar crackling sound, like the sound of plastic wrap on steroids. It was coming from the kitchen.

I was thinking fire, actually. Fire!

Noah and I ran into the kitchen and saw this:

That's the fixed panel of my sliding glass door. The only thing fortunate about this is no one was hurt. It's also two-layer thermal glass, and the outside panel of glass that broke.

But it's also a mystery. It's covered by yet another layer of storm glass on the screen porch side, and nothing struck the window. No one was in the room. I suspect torsion of the frame, or a flaw in the glass (it's a really low-quality door). But I don't know for sure.

I was so relieved it wasn't something far worse that I was curiously unmoved by the fact that this is going to be an expensive replacement job. I feel like the house pulled a bait-and-switch on me just to keep me from pitching a tantrum about the broken window. And really, it worked.

I have been dithering for well over a year between some work in the kitchen (replacing this door, the flooring, and the dishwasher) and some work in the basement, unable to really make up my mind between the two. I guess my mind got made up for me.

But colder weather is on its way too, and I'm pushing forward yet another weekend on the window glazing project.

I'll check back in soon. Back to work!


  1. I feel your pain when it comes to panes and glazing.

    My son and daughter in law had the same thing happen to their patio door 6 months after they had it replaced. It was during a day when there a thunder storm so maybe it has to do with rapid cooling.

    1. You know, Jan, I think you may be on to something. We had a couple of super hot days here, and I wonder if the temperature difference between the screen porch and the air-conditioned kitchen was just too much

  2. I totally understand the difficulty in balancing the actual WORK of a project with DOCUMENTING it in photos. let's not even talk about taking those photos and producing blog posts from them.

    Been thinking of you and your windows, as I was working to scrape and glaze windows for my Shack. It's not difficult, just time-consuming. Your power bill will thank you for this over the winter.

    1. Most of the time my hands were such a mess the idea of picking up even my cell phone was out of the question. I think I even had glazing compound in my hair!

      Now that the weather is a little cooler I'm hoping the work isn't quite such an endurance test. And I hope these windows are good for another 75 years!